SQL | Setting criteria using WHERE exercise | Combine criteria to show possibly watery post-1970 events!

This exercise is provided to allow potential course delegates to choose the correct Wise Owl Microsoft training course, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any format without the prior written consent of Wise Owl.

Software ==> SQL  (198 exercises)
Version ==> Any version of SQL Server
Topic ==> Setting criteria using WHERE  (5 exercises)
Level ==> Harder than average
Subject ==> SQL training
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help). Once you've done this:
  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio;
  2. Open the SQL file you've just unzipped (you can press CTRL + O to do this); then
  3. Execute this script.

This will generate the database that you'll need to use in order to do this exercise (note that the database and script are only to be used for exercises published on this website, and may not be reused or distributed in any form without the prior written permission of Wise Owl).

You need a minimum screen resolution of about 700 pixels width to see our exercises. This is because they contain diagrams and tables which would not be viewable easily on a mobile phone or small laptop. Please use a larger tablet, notebook or desktop computer, or change your screen resolution settings.

First show a list of all events which might have something to do water.  The Wise Owl interpretation of this is that one or more of the following is true:

  • They take place in one of the island countries (8, 22, 30 and 35, corresponding to Japan, the Marshall Islands, Cuba and Sri Lanka respectively)
  • Their EventDetails column contains the word Water (not the text Water, but the word)
  • Their category is number 4 (Natural World)

This should return 11 rows.  Now add a criterion to show only those events which happened since 1970 (you may need to use parentheses to get this to give the correct answer).

Here's what you should see as a result:

The results

The final results from running this complicated query.

Save this as Somewhat contrived, then close it down.

You can unzip this file to see the answers to this exercise, although please remember this is for your personal use only.
This page has 8 threads Add post
16 Feb 22 at 20:44


Why is the parenthesis necessary? I did notice that without it the "AND EventDate >= '19700101'" doesn't work, but I don't understand why. 

I would appreciate an explanation :) 

17 Feb 22 at 12:06

Suppose you want to pick out all the pets from a pet shop which are fluffy or scaly and which have 4 legs.  If your criteria reads:

Fluffy or Scaly and 4 legs

This might be interpreted as giving all pets which are either fluffy or which are 4-legged and scaly.  So whereas you wanted fluffy or scaly quadrupeds, your query would give you all fluffy animals, regardless of their number of legs.  Putting brackets in makes the query do what you want:

(Fluffy or Scaly) and 4 legs


11 Apr 20 at 02:53

Actually, there is a small bug with previous answers.  When using this criterion:

(EventDetails) like '% water %

we get indeed events that have the word 'water' in them (with space before and after the word 'water'), but we leave out events that begins or ends with the word 'water'.  True, there are none in the database, but if we add them, we could see that they are left out.

Try adding these events:

INSERT INTO [tblEvent]
VALUES    ('Event that BEGINS with water', 'Water falling from the sky', GETDATE(), 1, 1),
        ('Event that ENDS with water', 'There is no more water', GETDATE(), 1, 1)

There should be 7 rows now, shouldn't there?

In order to "capture" also events that start or end with the word 'water' we should add these conditions:

OR    [EventDetails] LIKE 'water %'
OR    [EventDetails] LIKE '% water'

Hope this helps.

P.S. In order to remove these 2 events that we added, execute the following script:

DELETE FROM [tblEvent]
[EventDetails] LIKE 'Water falling from the sky'
[EventDetails] LIKE 'There is no more water'

22 Feb 20 at 13:19

Select EventName, EventDetails, EventDate
From  tblEvent
Where (CategoryID = 4 or CountryID in (8,22,30,35) or lower (EventDetails) like '%water %') 
and Year(EventDate)>1970   ---- the year is extracted with function YEAR() 

22 Dec 19 at 20:36

SELECT EventName, EventDetails, EventDate
FROM tblEvent
WHERE (CategoryID = 4 OR CountryID IN (8,22,30,35) OR EventDetails LIKE '% WATER %')
AND DATEPART(YEAR, EventDate) > 1970;

16 Feb 21 at 17:18

select * from [dbo].[tblEvent]
where ([CountryID] in (8,22,30,35) or
[EventDetails] like '%water%' or
[CategoryID]=4) and 
DATEPART(YEAR,EventDate) >1970;

24 Jun 19 at 09:57

These exercises are fascinating!

24 Sep 18 at 21:17

I am not able to rin this, can anybody help.

select EventName, eventdetails, EventDate
from tblEvent
where CountryID  in (8,22,30,35)
or eventdetails  like '%water%' or
CategoryID = 4
and eventdate > 1970-01-01 

I am getting this error message:

Operand type clash: date is incompatible with int


25 Sep 18 at 07:31

Hi, try writing the date within a set of single quotes, like this:


I hope that helps!

07 Sep 17 at 10:03

cannot solve it

select EventName, EventDetails, EventDate from tblEvent where  (CountryID = 8 or CountryID = 22 or CountryID = 30 or CountryID = 35) or EventDetails = '%water%' or CategoryID = 4 and year(EventDate) >= 1970

07 Sep 17 at 16:47

You need to put LIKE and not =:

EventDetails LIKE '%water%'

This will show rows where the event details match the pattern contained in the text string.

05 Nov 17 at 07:27


Correct answer is:

EventDetails like '% water %'  

with spaces around.  You are looking for the word water , not any text with water in it.

Full query:

select * from tblEvent
where (CountryID in(8,22,30,35) or
EventDetails like '% water %' or
CategoryID = 4) and EventDate > '1970-01-01'

18 Jul 17 at 09:55

Combine criteria to show possibly watery post-1970 events!

Thee are only 4 events under the CategoryID 4. How come you have five in your solution?

30 Jul 17 at 10:02

The clue is in the question!

"one OR more of the following is true"